In the second episode of Table Talk, Paddy and Christine speak to parent Melissa and her son Fraizer about how the senses shape their world.
Here, Melissa shares their story and her experiences of doing the podcast.
“Just because my mind is a bit different it doesn’t mean I’m weird. Doesn’t mean I’m an outcast. I’m still a person, it’s just, I just need a bit more help with things.”
Fraizer is 13 and lives with his family in Hampshire. Fraizer was diagnosed when he was eight years old. “He has high functioning autism and ADHD.
“He is very, very likable and interesting to the adults around him, who seem to like his company. Ask any teacher in his school and they will say he is very talkative, but a loveable character. He is also very intelligent and funny. But sometimes he will go off on one when it’s not expected, because he is distressed about something. Then you would think he is two different children.”
“Fraizer has never really eaten properly; food has to be something he can hold and touch. It has to be something he can physically have in his hand, so he wouldn’t eat anything like beans. When I try to get him to eat something like that, he will deliberately make himself vomit.
“He is very affected by his senses. He’ll refuse to go on public transport because of the smell. He won’t use the toilet at school for the same reason; even though they have put things in place to help him with that.
“Fraizer also hates the feel of socks. We’ll get ready to go out and I’ll turn around and he will be wearing pair of flip flops or sliders, even when it’s freezing cold.
“For me, as Fraizer’s mum, I think I have become more anxious and nervous. I have a new partner, and I previously had a long term girlfriend, so Fraizer has always been surrounded by women, which is great. But I worry about not being able to help him with manly things as he gets older. I do want to help him build his confidence and I do worry he is going to be isolated from society.”
Fraizer says that when he grows up, he would like to be a doctor, “one who specialises in bones because I really enjoy the mechanical parts of the body. I think it’s interesting learning all the parts of the body.”
How Family Fund helped
“When we first applied to Family Fund it was for holidays to Haven, we all love those.
“We also had a bed and mattress from Family Fund in the past.
“I think it was a sensory thing, but he couldn’t ride a bike until he was ten because he didn’t like to take his feet off of the floor. He had a little bike for so long but it eventually became too small. So, recently we applied for a new bike from Family Fund and all of a sudden he could just ride it, just like that.”
Taking part in the podcast
Melissa said; “It was amazing to be able to speak with Paddy and Christine about our children and what they go through in life. It was refreshing to know that I am not the only one who has experienced sensory issues with an autistic child.
I hope that our chat will help others, who share similar struggles, to see that they are not alone. I also hope it helps people realise that sometimes children are different, but they are still amazing.”
Fraizer said; “Paddy and Christine are very lovely people. I felt like they were very understanding and I am happy that I was able to talk with them.
I want the people listening to know that just because I’m mentally disabled, it doesn’t mean that I am extremely different to others, I just think in a different way and I still want to do things in life. I’m not odd, I’m just unique in my own way.”
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